Friday’s Headlines: Who Will Stop Kim Ohanian? Edition

Kim Ohanian
Kim Ohanian

A little birdie dropped off the bylaws of Queens Community Board 7 to our posh cramped DUMBO offices yesterday — and we learned that Parks Committee Chairwoman Kim Ohanian had better hope she has good friends on the board.

Ohanian, you recall, is the CB7 member who grabbed a mic at a civic meeting back in May and said that pedestrians “deserve to get hit” if they are chatting on their cellphones as they cross the street. Ohanian, whose day job is at Mayor de Blasio’s Department of Environmental Protection, also called Hizzoner’s signature Vision Zero initiative “a joke.”

Why is Ohanian still on the board? Because Borough President Melinda Katz doesn’t have a substantial enough problem with Ohanian’s anti-pedestrian, anti-street safety positions to boot her — as she told our Julianne Cuba on Wednesday.

But there’s one last hope: The CB7 bylaws say that any member of the board can put up a motion at the next meeting demanding that Ohanian be removed. If two-thirds of the board members agree, she’s done.

So here’s hoping that at the next meeting in September there are 33 members of CB7 who do not believe that pedestrians “deserve to get hit” and who do not believe that the mayor’s vision of reducing road fatalities to zero is just a frivolous exercise.

OK, off the soapbox. Now the news:

  • A taxi driver killed a woman pedestrian on Eighth Avenue on Thursday, but the good news is he was charged with leaving the scene and failure to exercise due care. (Gothamist)
  • Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez wants to pour more city money into the MTA, but Council Speaker Corey Johnson is cautious (of course, he’s the one who wants to be mayor…and would miss that money being sent to Albany). (NYDN)
  • City & State offers a deep dive on why it has taken three decades for New York City to finally get started on making all sidewalks accessible to people in wheelchairs. And why will it take 15 more years to get it all done?
  • The Post’s David Meyer had a nice scoop about the MTA’s latest attempt to crack down on overtime abusers — get their pensions!
  • This would never happen if the Port Authority had made it easier to bike to LaGuardia. (NY Post, Gothamist)
  • Our own Dave Colon was on the FAQ podcast this week, discussing the state of NYC roads and, of course, tossing his hat (or, more accurately, sleeveless Sprewell jersey) into the ring for bike mayor.
  • There’s now a breastfeeding pod at Penn Station. (NYDN)
  • Not this former Postal Service worker is also a disgruntled MTA worker. (NY Post)
  • Laugh if you want, but Council Member Justin Brannan’s call for the MTA to provide free service on holidays is a great idea. Drivers get free on-street car storage on Sundays and holidays, so transit riders should get something, too. (NY Post)
  • As bad as it gets in New York, at least we don’t have telephone poles in the middle of our gorgeous new protected bike lanes like they do in Boston. (WHDH)
  • And, on a personal note, our old editor just saw the obit for legendary marathon cheater Rosie Ruiz and screamed out, “Dammit, there goes that ‘I, Tonya’-style biopic I wanted to do on her!” (NYDN)

Have a great weekend. If you’re not busy, join the Transportation Alternatives’ “Missed Connection” bike ride in Brooklyn to learn about all the gaps in the bike network where the city hasn’t kept cyclists safe. Should be fun! Details on the Streetsblog calendar.

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